International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) is concerned that the newly appointed Presidential Task Force to study the ‘One Country One Law’ concept may end up targeting minority communities in Sri Lanka. The appointment as Chairperson of a person imprisoned for contempt of court and known to be openly violent and racist calls into question the intent behind these appointments.

ICJ is also concerned by the lack of representation from the Tamil community and the absence of female members in the Task Force considering the wide mandate provided to it. While reiterating our belief in the need for laws to be compatible with international human rights law & standards, a Task Force does not arise as the Justice Ministry is already engaged in the law reform process.

Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has appointed a 13-member Presidential Task Force to study the implementation of the concept “One Country, One Law” and to prepare a draft Act. An Extraordinary Gazette Notification has been issued establishing the Presidential Task Force of 13 members for one country and one law. The task force will be chaired by Ven. Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thero.

In 2018, Thero was sentenced to 6 years rigorous imprisonment for contempt of court and later released under presidential pardon.

Meanwhile, Social Media is reacting heavily and growing displeasure towards government following the appointment of the Task Force.

Cartoon by Shanika